We provide core funding through two main approaches:

  • Strategic initiatives
  • Discovery and responsive research

Strategic initiatives

We support strategic initiatives focussed on major societal challenges such as improving productivity, mental health and climate change. These are announced on our website throughout the year and have fixed closing dates. They could be delivered, for example, through a programme of individual projects or research centres.

Discovery and responsive research

We support discovery and responsive research which is researcher-driven and can cover any topic or theme as long as it falls within ESRC's remit. This is typically based on the funding of individual projects, led by a single researcher or a team of researchers. There are a number of schemes within our discovery research portfolio. Most have open dates so researchers can apply at any time, and they include:

Further information about our core funding

All calls are published in the funding opportunities section of our website: